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News Story

Fed Judge Says FBI is Liable For Murders by Boston Mobsters; Awards Families $1.85 Mil

The outcome was certainly not surprising. But what may be interesting is whether this ruling opens the door for any similar cases around the country. Surely there have been other cases around the country in which federal informants have killed people while snitching for the FBI or DEA or ATF.

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
BOSTON — A federal judge ruled yesterday that the government is liable for the killings of two young women and a man allegedly slain by longtime FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, but awarded limited damages to the women’s families.

US District Judge William G. Young ordered the government to pay $350,000 to the families of each of the three victims, because of the conscious pain and suffering endured by Debra Davis, 26, who was strangled in 1981; Deborah Hussey, 26, strangled in 1985; and Louis Litif, 45, who was stabbed and shot in 1980.

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

The judge awarded an additional $800,000 to Litif’s widow and two children, who were 15 and 20 when he died, for the loss of his financial and emotional support.

For Full Story

FBI Denies it Edited Oklahoma Bombing Security Videotapes

Oklahoma City Federal Building

Oklahoma City Federal Building

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The FBI is denying suggestions that it edited soundless videotapes of the aftermath of the Oklahoma bombing, the Associated Press reported.

The denial came in the form of an email to the Associated Press.

“The FBI made no edits or redactions in the processing of these videos,”FBI spokesman Paul  Bresson wrote to the Associated Press. “The tapes are typical security cameras – the view switches camera to camera every few seconds.”

The FBI released more than 24 security camera tapes from buildings near the Oklahoma bombing that showed the chaos after the bombing.

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue obtained the tapes through the Freedom of Information Act and complained of them being blank at times shortly before the explosion that killed 168.

“They have been edited,” Trentadue told the Associated Press.

ONE OF THE VIDEOS

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSzQF0wHQ3c

FBI Investigating Burbank, Calif. Police Dept.

At least seven lawsuits have been filed by officers against the department alleging racial discrimination. I’m no math major. But that seems like a big number of   lawsuits on one issue.

burbank-police-ca

By Andrew Blankstein
Los Angles Times
LOS ANGLES — FBI officials today confirmed that they are investigating possible civil rights violations alleged by officers at the Burbank Police Department.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller would not comment on specifics of the probe by the agency’s civil rights division or how long the probe would last.

At least seven suits have been filed by officers against the Burbank Police Department, alleging a pattern of racial discrimination and retaliation, as well as unlawful demotions or firings.

Mayor Gary Bric said he was confident that investigations of the Burbank Police Department, including an independent probe by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, would be thorough and complete. He said there would be no limits to investigators.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Found Passed Out and Drunk in Stranger’s Bed

us-capitol-police-badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Message to U.S. Capitol police officer Thomas Patrick McMahon: Dude, you’re not in college anymore.

The Washington Post’s Allison Klein reports that an Arlington, Va. woman came home to her apartment early Sunday morning and found McMahon of Reston, Va., drunk and passed out in her bed.

Funny thing was, the two had never met, the Post wrote in a story first reported on WUSA-9 tv. McMahon was charged with unlawful entry and placed on paid administrative leave.

“I don’t know if it looks similar to his apartment in Reston or what,” Arlington police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal told the Post. “Thankfully, nobody was hurt.”

Column: Would the “Rough Stuff” Have Worked Better in Interrogation of Terrorist Suspect Zazi?

spy-talk-logoBy Jeff Stein
Spy Talk
WASHINGTON — The feds cracked Najibullah Zazi without laying a hand on him, according to most news accounts.

But some people still wonder if the rough stuff would have worked better — if only to make sure he gave it all up.

They’ve got to turn off their TVs.

Today I asked two veteran counterterrorism interrogators to take me inside the room when Zazi, the erstwhile New York street peddler- turned-alleged linchpin of a countrywide terrorist plot, was being questioned.

These guys — one from the FBI, and one an Air Force interrogator who mentally sparred with al Qaeda suspects in Iraq and Afghanistan — are the real deal. They’ve spent years eyeball-to-eyeball with hardcore terrorists and assorted other psychopaths, breaking them down.

Neither of them was in the room when the FBI cracked Zazi in Denver two weeks ago. But the techniques used to peel the 25-year-old Afghan immigrant like an avocado aren’t a mystery, either.

To Read More

FBI Director Mueller Rejects Suggestions Poor Coordination Between NYPD and FBI Damaged Terror Probe

Robert Mueller III/fbi photo
Robert Mueller III/fbi photo

You would never expect the FBI’s Robert Mueller to go before Congress and point fingers at the missteps of another law enforcement agency, that is unless things really really went wrong. In this case, some things may have gone wrong, but not wrong enough to air things in public.

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – FBI Director Robert Mueller rejected suggestions Wednesday that poor coordination between the FBI and New York Police Department damaged the investigation of an Afghan immigrant charged with plotting a bomb attack in New York City.

Mueller also repeated previous assurances from federal and local officials that there is currently no known imminent threat to the U.S. from this case or any other.

Mueller testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee in the Obama administration’s first public appearance before lawmakers since news broke that Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old Denver airport driver, is suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in New York. Authorities have said Zazi admitted receiving explosives training from al-Qaida in Pakistan.

For Full Story

Read FBI Director’s Statement to Committee

Read Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano’s Statement

Watchdog Group Criticizes ATF For Not Doing Enough to Crack Down on Tobacco Sales Fraud

marlboro_fullBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) lacks coordination and is not doing nearly enough to crack down on the fraud involved in the distribution and sales of tobacco that amounts to more $5 billion in lost U.S.  taxes a year and is sometimes linked to terrorism and organized crime, according to a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

“ATF has placed a lower priority on its alcohol and tobacco diversion mission area compared with other mission areas involving firearms, arson and explosives,” the report said.

“We found that ATF’s diversion efforts are ad hoc , that ATF personnel we interviewed lacked a clear understanding of the scope of diversion activity across field divisions, and that ATF headquarters does not adequately support the field divisions’ diversion investigations.”

“In addition, we found that no systematic method exists to share intelligence or information specifically about diversion between the field and headquarters, which adds to ATF’s lack of knowledge of the overall level of diversion activity in the nation.”

Read more »

Sole Practitioner in Big Terrorism Case Seeks College Intern For Help

legalBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Arthur Folsom, the Denver sole practitioner representing terrorist suspect Najibullah Zazi, is turning to the college set for help, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports.

Folsom, who has been criticized by some for being in over his head on this case, has placed an ad with the University of Denver Law School’s career development center for an “intern position for a current law student”, the Journal reported.

The “main responsibilities will be conducting research for a federal terrorism case.” The ad calls for “good research skills” and says experience on the federal level is preferred, the Journal reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST